Socialist Worker

Unions suspend next Tuesday’s public sector strike

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2424

The planned joint strike of hundreds of thousands of local government workers in the Unison, GMB and Unite unions on Tuesday of next week has been suspended.

The union leaders who voted to call it off are doing little to address the almost 20 percent pay cut suffered by local government workers over the last four years.

Around half a million local government workers will continue to earn less than the Living Wage.

The proposal from employers, which is still not an official offer, would give 2.2 percent to workers earning over £14,880 a year, from 1 January next year to 31 March.

It would also include a lump sum of £100.

There is only one difference from a proposal rejected by Unison just two weeks ago where those earning over £20,600 were set to get less than 1 percent for 2014/2015. The current proposal being considered is that they would not be worse off than if they had accepted the 1 percent offered originally by local government employers.

 Put another way they will not get more than they have already rejected to go on strike on the 10 July but have lost a day’s pay for. So technically they could be worse off.

The proposal would tie union members to a two-year deal. And it doesn’t equate to much more than 1 percent in 2014 and 1 percent in 2015.

John McLoughlin, branch secretary of Tower Hamlets Unison in London, spoke to Socialist Worker in a personal capacity.

He said, “This would represent a further cut in real pay not just this year but next year as well.

“It throws away the opportunity to link up public sector workers striking next week in the lead up to the 18 October TUC demonstrations the following weekend.

“We must now build for complete rejection of this and for a reinstatement of the strikes, coordinated with other public sector unions if possible.” 


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